Our riding buddy Randy Commans (@my1090R on Instagram) recently got his hands on the new 2023 KTM 450 XCF-W.
We sat down around the campfire on our recent trip to Colorado, and asked him some questions about his new bike…
OU: What was your main deciding factor for choosing the 2023 XCW-F?
RC: I was looking for a bike that would do it all, from tight single track to long Baja trips. Having just ridden the new 2023 KTM and Husqvarna 450s on a recent trip to Iceland, I was impressed with the performance and light nimble feel. The bikes ran great in stock form, with no emissions restrictions and a pretty much uncorked exhaust. Basically it’s a competition use only bike. Orange is my color, so the KTM 450 XCF-W was my choice. I am also a fan of the PDS suspension!
OU: What type of trails do you plan on riding?
RC: I plan on running this bike in two different types of terrain. First I need it to replace my 2-stroke 300 TPI (amazing single track bike), so for now I’ll be running the stock tank for this set up. I also want to to this bike for our “small bike” Baja trips. Everyone seems to be running the 500/501 bikes for this those trips. I figure the 450 with the Acerbis 3.9 gallon tanks, Giant Loop Tail Rack/Mojavi Saddlebag set up and Adventure Spec Mini Fairing Kit should be perfect for pounding miles down south of the border.
OU: Is this bike equally at home on tight single track and fast Baja trails?
RC: Having ridden it in a variety of stuff in Iceland, I can say with confidence it is. I’ve already had the chance to run some great single track in Colorado and it was excellent, exceeding my expectations. I am even going to say it the best out of the box, off the dealer floor offroad bikes available. I am super stoked on my decision to go with the 450 XCF-W! I’m confident it will handle Baja equally as well. I’ll be sure to report back later this year on just how good it is.
OU: How does the stock suspension feel on the rocky Colorado trails?
RC: Suspension felt really good, very predictable. I only changed a few clickers here and there. I’m asking this bike to do a variety of things so I don’t want to chase a plush single track set up, nor do I want it set up for 100 mph Baja type stuff. I’m looking for a middle ground, does everything well set up. I think with a couple more adjustments and with Carls Suspension Services I’ll have it all dialed in.
OU: Does this bike need engine mods and an aftermarket exhaust?
RC: On previous bikes I’ve owned, I would have said yes it does, but this bike runs great in stock form. With no emissions restrictions and an ECU that is spot on, this bike runs cleans and pulls strong. I’m stoked on this motor package!
OU: What tires are you using and why? Do they have tubes or mousses?
RC: I’m running my absolute favorite tire on all my bikes in the front, the Shinko 216 Fat Tyre 90/100-21 and the Shinko 525 120/100-18 in the rear. Nitromousse mousses are the only way to go. The feel is great, rock deflection is awesome, and the low pressure feel provides maximum hook up. I run Nitromousses in my KTM 690 as well and have a ton of miles, even a fair amount of pavement transitions and all good. No more tire tools or tubes for this bike, this tire/mousse combo is perfect.
OU: What about the Giant Loop bags?
RC: My saddlebag set up is tight and lean. I mounted a Giant Loop Tail Rack to the back fender for added versatility. I’m running Giant Loop Mojavi saddlebags and a Possibles Pouch. I can’t wait to take this set up to Baja.
OU: How are the ergonomics?
RC: The ergos feel good. I added a ProTaper Windham Bend EVO bar and grips in the forward clamp position. I’m also running Fastway Air foot pegs in the low position. Opens up the cockpit a pit. I’m not tall but maybe a little taller than the average moto guy.
It was the ergos and light feel that impressed me with this bike and the Husqvarna 450 when we rode in Iceland. I’m really looking forward to putting a lot more time on this 450 and really dialing it in, but it’s so dang good to start with.
OU: Anything else you’d like to mention?
RC: I didn’t have any time to break this bike in prior to our Colorado trip so I ran it over to Chris a Rottweiler Performance for a proper break-in on his dyno with Maxima Break-In oil. Then a quick oil change to Maxima ProPlus+ 10W-50 and off to the Rocky Mountains.
I know Mike at TacoMoto.co also has a 450 XCF-W coming and I look forward to trading ideas and dialing this in a bit more.
RC: You can see from my build list that I really didn’t have to do much to make this bike next level. Pretty much bolt on items that fit me a little better, and a more powerful GalferUSA front brake set up. I did make a minor gearing change from 52T to a 51T DDC rear sprocket. A few other trick goodies and no bike is complete without a Seat Concepts seat.
Feel free to reach out with questions @my1090r on Instagram
EVO Handlebar. Windham/RM Mid 24004
Clamp On Grip – 1/2 Waffle – Orange/black 021665
Grip Donuts – Black 024787
Motominded/Baja Designs www.motominded.com
Headlight- Baja Designs/Motominded KTM LED Kit 2020-23 XCF-W
Giant Loop www.giantloopmoto.com
Mojavi Saddlebag – Orange
GL Tail Rack
Galfer USA www.galferusa.com
Kitos33 (Oversize 270mm Wave® Floating Tsunami Rotor Kit – Husaberg Husqvarna KTM)
1: FD291G1396 (rear pads) HH Sintered Compound – Brembo Husaberg Husqvarna KTM Sherco
1: DF607RW (rear rotor – Tsunami Wave® Rotor – Rear – Husaberg Husqvarna KTM)
DECAL WORKS www.decalmx.com
The best in the business. Perfect fit and long lasting.
MAXIMA RACING OILS – www.maximausa.com
ProPlus+ 4T Synthetic Engine Oil
Racing Fork Fluid
Fab1 Spray-on air filter oil
Chain Wax Chain Lube
SC1 High Gloss Coating
Maxima Racing Fork Fluids – Carls Serviced & Tuned
PROFILTER – www.profilter.com
Premium Air Filter
Premium OEM Replacement Oil Filter
Billet Oil Filter Cover
Carls Suspension Services – www.carlscycle.com
Carls Serviced & Tuned with Maxima Racing Fork Fluids